Saturday, February 20, 2010

Olympic Fever

I don't know if this is happening in your house, but we can't get enough of the Olympics! Obviously with children almost 7 and 9, the last winter Olympics weren't a big deal. However, the enthusiasm is beyond crazy. We have even had tears when told that they had to go to bed and would have to miss seeing the finals. Why? Why the drama? No, it's not just that they are tired.

The other morning it hit me. It's my fault. The first part of this "Olympic Fever" was setting the stage. As part of my son's Cub Scout rank, he needed to learn about sports. We chose Olympic sports and Olympic athletes. By doing this, we connected both kids with Apolo Anton Ohno, the lugers Martin and Grimmette, Lindsey Jacob Ellis, and even Scott Hamilton. When seeing Apolo Anton Ohno skating they were on their feet cheering. Seeing Jacob Ellis they were having discussions about the choices she made that got her a silver medal. They even saw Hamilton doing commentary and said, "Hey...isn't that the Scott Hamilton?"

I'm pretty sure that the second reason for this "Olympic Fever" has to do with enthusiasm. I am so "pumped" about the Olympics and just can't get enough. It honestly doesn't matter what the event is, I want to watch these remarkable athletes show what they can do. I know all of the channels that are showing the Olympics, I follow it on Twitter (#olympics), and have been known to stay up until past midnight to watch. I'm exhausted, but still keep watching.

etting the stage and sharing enthusiasm has made the Olympics magical for my family. Before dinner several nights ago, my daughter said, "Mom, after dinner do you think we could watch 'you know what?'" It took me a second, but I soon realized that the "you know what" was the Olympics. And, YES, we watched the "you know what!"

My lesson from all of this? How do we take this magic and spread it to other parts of our lives? By setting the stage (having a plan) and sharing genuine enthusiasm... our relationships, family projects, homework, children doing chores, and even passing on the love of reading is possible. What are you enthusiastic about that you've passed on to your children? We'd love to hear tips from others for creating excited and motivated children/families.

GUWB wants to help share the passion of reading. Try a one month FREE membership on us! Just enter A64D9C when signing up. We'd love to have you join us and share in the passion of books.

Possible Connections:
Check out some of these Olympic sites for kids...

Education World
A to Z Teacher Stuff (Be sure to scroll down.)
Activity Village

Happy reading and enjoy the "Olympic Fever!"
The GUWB Team
Publish Post

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Countdown is Underway!

Here comes Percy!

Ask any middle grade reader what February 12, 2010 is and more than likely they'll say..."The Lightning Thief movie comes out!" My son is one of those. I knew last month that it was soon, but he knew the exact date. He even asked me, "Hey Mom, you do know what Feb. 12th is, right?" To say that the excitement is building would be an understatement. This could be the next Harry Potter for a new generation. We may not be there for opening night, but you can be sure that this is one movie we'll see before it comes out on video!

In order to best be ready for this experience, consider reading the book prior to the viewing. We offer this title at Grow Up With Books along with exciting connection ideas. These ideas help the child make deeper connections with the characters, setting, problems, etc. Having a deeper understanding of the book will give your child a "one-of-a-kind" experience with the movie. You'll be able to see how the movie compares to the book. My son has already noted several differences just from the movie trailers that have been released.

Come to think of it, make the most of this the book WITH your child! If you haven't read it, you may find yourself as a Percy fan before it's all over.

Take a look at a couple of the connection ideas:

Author Connections: Rick Riordan
Games: Play the game Zeus on the Loose.
Cooking: Percy’s mom was known for always having BLUE food. See if you can invite some Percy Jackson fans over and serve BLUE snacks.
Additional Ideas: Check out this Percy Jackson party from Make It Do!

*Connection ideas are located on the inside of rented books. Check us out! Try GUWB for a free trial and enter 94DCD3 when registering.

Happy reading!
The GUWB Team
(submitted by Lara)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Read and Connect NOW!

Read NOW!

Today is when we will get our hands on the next installment of The 39 Clues series...Book 7: The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis. In order to best prepare yourself, read/re-read The 39 Clues Book 6: In Too Deep by Jude Watson. My son is re-reading it right now and can't wait to see what happens next to Dan and Amy in Book 7. Check out the GUWB summary AND the amazing connection ideas that truly bring life to the book! We'll have more connections for The Viper's Nest in the very near future.

GUWB's summary of Book 6:
Being careful not to be seen, “trust no one,” Dan and Amy take a clue from their parents and head to Australia. They are hoping to find unanswered questions from their long lost Uncle Shep about their parents’ last visit to “The Land Down Under.” Riding waves and escaping sharks is only the tip of the excitement that this 6th installment provides. The brother/sister team continues their quest to be the first to find all 39 clues and be “the most powerful people in the world.” Just a Heads Up: Mild Violence

Connect NOW!
Social Studies:
•See what National Geographic has to say about Coober Pedy, Australia and looking for opals.
•Check out Coober Pedy, Australia…it’s an underground town! Can you imagine?

•The Taipan snake was used in this story…learn more about it.

•Australia is known for their tasty treat called “lamingtons.” Nellie tried some in the story. Why not give the recipe a try…using cubes of yellow cake, chocolate, and coconut!


The GUWB Team
submitted by Lara